U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR RECOVERED $1.6 MILLION IN BACK WAGES AND DAMAGES FOR AREA GARMENT INDUSTRY EMPLOYEES THIS YEAR
Investigations in Southern California by the U.S. Department of Labor have found $1.6 million in back wages and liquidated damages due to 1,377 garment industry employees since January. Those amounts resulted from violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) found in 94 percent of 129 Wage and Hour Division investigations of garment facilities in the region during that period.
The Department also assessed an additional $36,000 in civil money penalties associated with those investigations.
Many of the investigations disclosed employees paid well below the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, with some receiving as little as $4.27 per hour. Investigators also found employers often failed to pay employees overtime at time-and-one-half of their regular rates of pay when they worked more than 40 hours in a week, as required by the FLSA.
Department officials continue to meet with retailers to encourage them to avoid non-compliant manufacturers and to buy only from suppliers that comply with federal labor laws.
“In addition to our outreach efforts in this industry, we continue our investigations in Southern California to ensure local garment employees receive their rightfully earned pay,” said Wage and Hour Division Regional Administrator Ruben Rosalez, in San Francisco. “Unfortunately, we continue to find wage violations at nine out of every 10 facilities we investigate. Manufacturers that fail to pay their employees minimum wage and overtime have a negative impact on the garment industry by unfairly undercutting their competition.”
Investigation findings in 2017 include:
- CAL TM, Inc. will pay $41,742 to 46 employees after an investigation found that employees were not paid overtime and in many cases earned less than the federal minimum wage. Records were falsified to make it appear that employees were paid hourly.
- ANC Fashion, Inc. will pay $64,906 to 269 employees after investigators found that employees worked over 40 hours per week without receiving overtime pay.
- HJ Fashion will pay $21,023 to 21 employees after an investigation disclosed the employer failed to pay employees the federal minimum wage and overtime. Investigators also found the employer kept no time records and paid employees in cash only.
Employees and employers with questions about the FLSA or any of the federal wage laws administered by the Division should call the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). All calls are confidential. More information is available online at http://www.dol.gov/whd/.